Lurking in many food processing companies is a source and type of waste that often escapes notice. The “big” losses, such as a major equipment breakdown, are very visible and are usually the focus of much of a company’s cost-savings efforts.
However, many of these losses are caused by late, incorrect, or unavailable data. Often, companies fail to identify poor quality production line data as the root cause of performance problems. As a result, these companies look elsewhere, and the problems either are not solved or are only partially solved.
When data is gathered manually, it is often incorrectly logged, incomplete, and slow to reach the ultimate users. When decisions are made using this data, the decisions may actually cause excess waste or contribute to losses on the line. In today's fast-paced food processing industry, it is essential for managers to receive accurate, timely, and complete line performance data. Worximity Technology is the industry leader in Smart Factory systems that deliver accurate, real-time performance and production line data collection to managers when and where it is needed.
Packaging line performance data is essential because packaging is the last step in the manufacturing process. Being agile when changes in demand or other conditions arise means having accurate and up-to-date line performance data. Building flexible packaging lines and knowing how the lines perform allows managers to shift production and respond to last-minute demand changes.
Integrating data from both production and packaging is important for companies working to achieve Industry 4.0 status. Focusing on gathering highly accurate and timely packaging line data is key to giving employees and supervisors the right information at the right time. Below are some specific benefits of connecting food processing Smart Factory software to your packaging lines.
1. Controlling and Reducing Costs
Packaging generally involves many individual tasks. These can include sealing, inserting, labeling, and filling, among others. Because of the many elements requiring coordination, downtime can sometimes become excessive.
Tracking downtime using Smart Factory software, however, gives managers the ability to see how production is proceeding against a company's delivery schedule. Capturing all downtime (including micro-stops and slowdowns) allows supervisors to adjust line parameters, so production goals are met.
Production line data collection that includes overall equipment efficiency (OEE) performance measures for packaging equipment provides important operating data. Connecting real-time data collection sensors to packaging equipment provides the information to calculate OEE and, more importantly, gives managers the data needed to reduce costs and increase profits. Worximity is currently offering a free, seven-day OEE trial using Smart Factory analytics equipment and software. To find out how your factory is performing and how you stack up against others in your industry, connect with Worximity today.
2. Meeting Delivery Schedules
Packaging line data tells supervisors whether the volumes of high-quality, sellable products are being packed and available to ship. Monitoring machine performance, whether production is running or maintenance is repairing a breakdown, is essential to optimizing total processing line throughput. This information provides the visibility the company needs to ensure customer commitments are met.
Tracking Line Utilization
Ensuring processing equipment is used effectively is a factor in determining overall plant profitability. Production line data collection gives supervisors utilization key performance indicators (KPIs), which are important indicators of how effectively company assets are being utilized.
3. Monitoring and Improving Quality
When product quality goes out of spec, not only is waste created, but production schedules can slip as well. Knowing up-to-the-minute quality and scrap levels at packaging keeps supervisors on top of any developing quality problem.
Integration of robotics into packaging and line data collection is fast improving general product quality. Advanced sensory capabilities allow today’s robots to smell contaminants and identify out-of-spec products. Poor-quality products can be identified quickly and adjustments made to minimize waste.
4. Ensuring Employee Training, Health, and Safety
Data being produced from packaging line performance can highlight needs for employee training. For example, when line performance data indicates an employee is failing to meet expectations, additional training may be needed. In addition, tracking accidents or safety incidents can show other training needs or even changes to production systems or procedures.
Worximity Technology is the food and beverage industry leader in providing on-line performance monitoring systems. Our Smart Factory analytics system begins by gathering real-time production data from sensors attached to processing line equipment. This data is sent to the cloud, where our Smart Factory analytics software analyzes the information and produces customized performance reports. The results are presented on TileBoards (monitors) located throughout the factory for all employees to track.
To learn more about how real-time data collection can improve your factory performance, download our Smart Factory 101 e-book. This handy guide shows how any processor can get started on the road to becoming an Industry 4.0 factory.